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“What a little treasure (and that's just the owner)”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Squire Tarbox

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Squire Tarbox
Ranked #2 of 4 Wiscasset B&B and Inns
spain
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“What a little treasure (and that's just the owner)”
Reviewed 8 November 2007

It's pitch black, pouring with rain, we've been driving for 9 hours, my fault - I left five pairs of shoes in an Inn on the other side of New England which we had to go back for - I'm also the one that suggested avoiding fancy hotels and trying the Inn experience and the last one was a nightmare. So it is with some fear and trepidation that we arrive at the Squire Tarbox . What a lovely welcome, giggly bubbly staff. Large ground floor bedroom full of bits and pieces and character and probably a few ghosts. Warm and cosy. We are shown the dining room (our first Inn with its own owner/chef/restaurant) pour a drink and sit in the guest lounge, a very atmospheric wooden building. Mario the owner appears to say hello, have a chat and tells us that his wife is away for a few days and he is missing her madly. Then its time for dinner which was absolutely and totally fantastic. You know that feeling, when you are a bit down in the dumps and your expectation level is zero and then something amazing happens? Next morning, not being in any rush to leave, we wandered around the grounds, said hello to the hens, walked through the trees in the rain and down to the waterside and peered through the mist. Eerie but beautiful. It's funny, it's not just about the accommodation or the views or the food, it's also about people and to be given a warm welcome on arrival, fabulous funny service at dinner and a few friendly words from the owner, does make all the difference. It's what is making me sit here at 9 at night, with a cold, and bothering to write and tell you that this place is special. With thanks from Mr and Mrs Kuhn !!

  • Liked — it was perfectly comfortable, spacious, attractive, lots of character
  • Disliked — well the shower was a bit like you'd find in a caravan or boat, sort of plastic, but it worked fine!
  • Stayed October 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank SpainAli
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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99 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (20)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
NYC
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 October 2007

I stayed for two weeks at the Squire Tarbox Inn during July 2007 and had the most wonderful retreat! I feel like I have an extended family in Maine. The rooms are cozy and conducive to long, restful naps. Mario will cook and cook for you! His French toast should not be missed! The salad greens (at dinner) are direct from Kyle's (his son's) garden. (If you're there in the summer, go take a tour!) And Ronnie is always taking care of your needs and seeing that you are comfortable.

I highly recommend taking a book down to the gazebo by the water (complete with mesh to ward off the mosquitoes) and just reading. They also have a piano to play on for the musician in you.

Locals stop by for dinner so you pick up wonderful insider tips. The atmosphere is so lovely; you make friends with fellow travelers during dinner and breakfast. As a single traveler, I was constantly invited to join fascinating people at meals and on adventures. The Inn has a room specifically for single travelers, so you feel very welcome.

The Squire Tarbox is on Westport Island, away from the hustle and bustle of the busy towns and traffic. It is a perfect place for a relaxing, hide-a-way vacation in Maine. (No cell phone coverage but Ronnie does have a WiFi connection in the dining room.) You must have a car to get anywhere. There is no public transportation.

I will return to the Squire Tarbox again and again. It's a perfect place to hide out from the world and be treated like a King/Queen.

  • Liked — Wonderful Service
  • Disliked — That I couldn't move in.
  • Stayed July 2007, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank DeSpanish
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
austin
Level Contributor
22 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 August 2007

The grounds of the Inn are simply gorgeous. A pastoral country setting, complete with pond and organic garden, goats that are happy to see visitors, neatly tended flower gardens. Just a showplace, located in the country outside Wiscasset.

Inside, the decor was not to my personal taste, but that's just me. I was given a tour by the owner-not a very personable woman-and told several times to keep doors closed because it was hot outside and the AC was on. The room I was in faced west, and had a small "deck", large enough for two chairs. The view was great, it overlooked the pond and garden. The room itself was very simple, with barn style walls and a tiny bathroom with a cruise ship style shower. The bathroom would be greatly improved by installing a handheld showerhead. The door to the room didn't have a lock.

When you make your reservation, you are required to leave a $100 deposit.After making my reservation, I had received an information packet that included the 13% per day room gratuity clause, as well as stating that if you cancelled less than two weeks before your arrival, you lost your deposit; more than two weeks, you got your deposit back minus a "booking fee". So I went, knowing I would be charged the gratuity-but I did want to stay there.

For my one night's stay, in the cheapest room they have, I was charged $22 gratuity. I didn't eat breakfast, no one helped get my bag to my room, really there was no service difference from a Holiday Inn. Normally, I tip by service. Maid, valet, bellboy, server. Resort fees come with all the benefits of staying at a resort. This is a little different. I would feel a lot better about the daily gratuity charge if there were some actual visible service for it. Honestly, I wasn't even made to feel welcome at this Inn.

So, if what you are looking for is a beautiful country inn, this is exactly what you want. Factor in the other issues at your own discretion.

  • Liked — the views, the country
  • Disliked — didn't feel welcome
  • Stayed July 2007, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank redheadedwoman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
21 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 164 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 July 2007

I recently stayed at the Squire Tarbox. I wish I had read the Trip Advisor reviews before staying there, because the comments about it being unwelcoming are quite true.

The Squire Tarbox is a charming country inn on Westport Island, at least 12 miles from the nearest town of Wiscasset. It has some rustic beauty, with exposed wood walls and floors. You're definitely in a somewhat remote area: a live bat got in while I was there and was flying around the interior library. The grounds are quite pretty, if not a little mosquito-drenched in the summer, and the inn's rooms have views of a small pond with some goose decoys and the vegetable garden. Having glanced in several rooms, I see they have a real fondness for Raggedy Ann -- at least one rag doll seems to be plopped in a chair in each guest room.

As with any old country inn that has been carved into 11 rooms, guest spaces are small and water pressure/water temperature is not what it could be. Walls are thin, and I could overhear guests in adjacent rooms. Bathrooms are tiny. Ours had a small shower stall and a door that could not open or close if someone was in the bathroom. The guestroom had a selection of old books, so if you arrive empty handed, you can find something to read! Rooms all remain unlocked all the time.

Breakfasts are generous and quite tasty. I found breakfast, which is included in the room price, to be better than dinner. The inn also has an honor bar, but few honors are offered to guests: the small pantry is locked when the innkeepers go to sleep.

The chef seemed very friendly, but his wife, the woman running the inn, made me quite uncomfortable, as if I were an intruder in a private home. I noticed a framed certificate of appreciation
from Delta Airlines hanging in the inn, thanking her for 33 years of service. So, perhaps think of a rather dour flight attendant, and then put her at the helm of an inn.

The biggest disappointment is that a 13% service charge is added to the entire bill, so even if the service isn't as ebullient as one might hope, you're paying extra for it anyway.

The inn makes a fine short retreat for retirees who wish to lounge in a rustic country setting. Anyone with an active itinerary along the Maine coast may prefer to stay in one of the nearby small harbor towns which offer more amenities, places to walk, and some food options.

  • Liked — Breakfast
  • Disliked — Unfriendly, location
  • Stayed July 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
10 Thank ParticularSFTraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Freeport, Maine
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 August 2006

My husband and I took our friends to dinner at the Inn as a thank you, it was not the first time we had eaten there and we have never been dissappointed.
We had unhurried drinks sitting in the lovely grounds before dinner. We had dinner on the porch where we could enjoy the view and the relaxed company of other diners. The food was excellent, we had the steak and the lamb which was cooked to perfection. A good wine was recommended for us.
We were made to feel very welcome, the inn has a way of making you feel very "at home". The spotlessly clean, charming rooms with wide plank floors and comfortable furniture just add to the pleasure of being there.
Highly recommended for a very relaxing experience with good company and food.

Stayed July 2006
Helpful?
1 Thank BJMitchell
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Huntington, NY
Level Contributor
13 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 June 2006

I rated this review as OK even thought it wasn't but then again, it wasn't terrible. My wife and I go to Maine each year and usually go just to the lobster places. We absolutely love Maine lobster and the Yarmouth/Freeport and Boothbay Harbor area is the best place we’ve found to get them. This year, I though I'd treat my wife to a really good "sit down classy” dinner and by the way they advertised themselves on their website, I thought we would have a great experience with dinner at Squire Tarbox. The website said owner/chef "has over 30 years of culinary experience behind him” so I thought we would be in for quite a treat.

We did get a good greeting upon arrival and we ate out on the screened in deck which was very nicely set up. Our first thought was that the lady seating us was the owner but later found out she wasn't. She said that everyone who has had the lamb says it's the best they ever had. It was my wife’s choice and I don't know where these other people dine at, but my wife gets lamb like this everywhere we eat at home. Don't get me wrong, she said it was excellent but just the same as she gets everywhere else where we live. Maybe we're just lucky having good restaurants in our local area. I selected the "Twin Filet Mignon” as my entree. I was really expecting too much to eat because the lady said they don't believe in giving those tiny and small portions some restaurants now serve. I selected a bottle of red wine to help me savor the flavor of my "twin" filets. My onion soup appetizer was served in a small bowl that was slightly bigger than a cup with hardly any cheese on top. I do see from a prior review that someone 3 years ago did get “incredible French onion soup” but unfortunately, I didn’t. My wife got the salad which they grew locally and it was very good. When I order a Filet Mignon locally, I get a piece of meat at least 2" thick and in a real steak place, it’s even thicker than that. For the “Twin” Filet, Squire Tarbox charges $38 which includes appetizer, dessert and coffee - I'm pretty sure it was the most expensive entree. The 2 pieces of meat served me were each about 1/2" thick. Putting them together wouldn’t make my definition of a Filet Mignon. Even though it was smaller than expected, I thought it should still taste good. I’m afraid mine didn’t. The knives on the table weren't serrated and while my wife managed using hers on the lamb, I had to work pretty good with basically a butter knife to cut mine. Finally I just took out my Swiss army knife and used it to cut this particular chewy and flavorless piece of meat. They forgot to bring my wife the mint jelly normally (at least where we live) served with lamb and at a nearby table, forgot to leave the anchovies off a dish as was requested

When presented with the bill, a 15% gratuity was automatically added which I thought was quite tacky. The chef did come to our table to ask how our meal was. Not to get any more upset than I was, I let my wife answer singly about her meal. Not that it’s a big deal but I see another site gives the restroom a rating of 5 out of 5. There is no “real” restroom for the dining area unless you’re staying there and then you would use your room. When I asked about where the restroom was, I had to wait while it was asked if it was OK if I used what appeared to be the restroom for the kitchen. It had personal articles there including toothbrushes by the vanity. It made me feel like I was imposing.

My wine choice was excellent but this is not something I’d want to do again. It could be that if I selected another entree I might have enjoyed it.

  • Stayed June 2006
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank drinkgoodwine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Peak District National Park, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
98 reviews
42 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 92 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 October 2005

We stayed here for one night on our way back to Boston and although we liked the place, we felt that it didn't quite offer the warm hospitality that we had experienced elsewhere. For instance, the owner made a point of saying hello to all the guests individually pre-dinner, but overlooked my husband and I. In hindsight, this could have possibly been because we were sitting with an older couple that he may have presumed were our parents, but even so, it didn't impress us at the time.

However, aside from this gaff, we found the rest of the stay enjoyable.

The building itself was attractive with lots of period features, although these were somewhat obscured by the overwhelming amount of objects and dried flowers on display. A little less clutter and flounce would have made this place truly special.

The grounds were some of the best we had come across with lots of interesting nooks and crannies - a lake and rowing boat for guests' use, a goatshed complete with friendly goats, a garden and barn. Great for exploring.

Food was top-notch. Expertly prepared by the Swiss owner/chef and served well.

As someone else mentions, on paying the bill, the automatic gratuity did sour the departure somewhat. As it was, we were happy to tip the waitress as she did a great job, but I think that bonuses should be left to the guest's discretion and never assumed.

  • Stayed October 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Carson10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Squire Tarbox

Property: Squire Tarbox
Address: 1181 Main Rd, Westport Island, Wiscasset, ME 04578-3501
Region: United States > Maine > Mid Coast Maine > Wiscasset
Amenities:
Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 4 B&Bs / Inns in Wiscasset
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Squire Tarbox 2.5*
Number of rooms: 11
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Squire Tarbox Wiscasset, Maine

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